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What's your hardest project ever!

by AJswoodshop
posted 709 days ago

27 replies so far

View Grandpa's profile


3075 posts in 1301 days

#1 posted 709 days ago

Well, I don’t think of any project as difficult. I like figuring out the best way to do things. That is what I like to do. The actual build is just cutting and fitting. I have built a 10 drawer Acorn chest. It is 52 inches tall, 44 inches wide and 22 inches deep. It is like a big chest of drawers with 2 sets of side by side drawers. I used red oak. I dovetailed the drawers and used glue and joints to hold everything together. The only fasteners I used were to hold the plywood back in place. It was complicated but I started by drawing a set of plans so there wouldn’t be any slip ups.

View sedcokid's profile


2667 posts in 2224 days

#2 posted 709 days ago

Well, I guess the most time consuming project was my miter sled for the table saw. It wasn’t hard but it was the most time consuming because of the accuracy I demanded. I have used it numerous times and it is still right on the money.

Thanks for asking AJ, what was yours?

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2199 posts in 1784 days

#3 posted 709 days ago

My kitchen cabinets. Been working on them for 2 years now.

-- jay,

View lumberjoe's profile


2829 posts in 874 days

#4 posted 709 days ago

My 3 axis horizontal router table. On my 3rd iteration. The first two were acceptable, I’am looking for perfection with this thing.


View Rob's profile


139 posts in 2555 days

#5 posted 709 days ago

I guess that depends on when in my woodworking history the project was made. Early on in the piece, I made a Shaker Chest of Drawers with 6 drawers. It was the first time i had to generate a cut list and work out ratios for the drawer sizes. That took some time. But I guess the most challenging of all was the making of 8 Red Gum dining chairs. I’d never made chairs before and it was my first attempt at full on mortise and tenon joints that weren’t going to fail. Its amazing how much confidence achieving something like this can give you.


View nwbusa's profile


1016 posts in 912 days

#6 posted 709 days ago

So far it’s turning out to be my wall mounted hand tool cabinet. Each tool requires a custom mount, and I keep coming up with “upgrades” that further complicate the project. It’s coming along, just slower than I originally anticipated.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

1970 posts in 1187 days

#7 posted 709 days ago

The most hardest and diligent things I have made are the Boxes I make and give away for couples that have lost a child. I want them to have the Very Very best

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View muleskinner's profile


667 posts in 1062 days

#8 posted 709 days ago

Raising three daughters. ... oh, you mean woodworking? Building the house.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View lwllms's profile


540 posts in 1907 days

#9 posted 709 days ago

Overcoming essential tremors that are getting progressively worse. I’m losing that battle and will pressure my doctor a little tomorrow at my annual check-up.

View oldnovice's profile


3688 posts in 1993 days

#10 posted 709 days ago

My next project is always the hardest! I haven’t decided what that will be and that is the hardest!

I have a new RA drug that has helped with the joint pain but it has sure decreased my energy level which, according to the doctor, will improve after about 6 months. It, like most drugs, has some really bad side effects but not joint pain is worth it …. so far!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View lanwater's profile


3076 posts in 1560 days

#11 posted 709 days ago

I agree with oldnovice.

Every project offers new challanges.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View knotscott's profile


5417 posts in 2001 days

#12 posted 709 days ago

My first guitar build was a bit over my head and took me a while to figure out…I don’t play, which didn’t help. It was the most challenging, but also the most rewarding.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View lunn's profile


206 posts in 934 days

#13 posted 709 days ago

7,000 sf log home no wait the 5,400 sf log home. No no no it was the house that after the crane left we noticed one of the center trusses was in backwards. Every project has it’s own challenge. Finding the way to solve it and seeing the finished job will bring you pleasure.

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

View rejo55's profile


175 posts in 868 days

#14 posted 709 days ago

Same as Muleskinner, except it was five daughters and a landscape timber house, and I had done neither before. In fact, the house was the first thing I had ever built out of wood.
Have a good’un

-- rejo55, East Texas

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 902 days

#15 posted 709 days ago

I think my hardest project was the bathroom repair.


-- If I can do can you! -AJswoodshop

View Tennessee's profile


1447 posts in 1140 days

#16 posted 709 days ago

Restoring an 1896 ten room farmhouse, including putting in closets, doing all the wiring over, adding my shop, refinishing most floors, doors, railings, stairs, it was endless for 2.5 years.

-- Paul, Tennessee,

View woodshaver's profile (online now)


2746 posts in 1978 days

#17 posted 709 days ago

I would have to say the two Gazebos I built back in the 80’s were my biggest challenge’s. 8 sides, many compound miter cuts. Angles in so many directions. But I came out so nice! This is the one I built for our yard and I also built one for a friend. All I had was a photograph to go by, no plans at all. You can’t see it but there is seating the also has a ton of compound miters in it.

-- Tony C , My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14721 posts in 2301 days

#18 posted 709 days ago

Full stock Kentucky rifle

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View teejk's profile


1208 posts in 1310 days

#19 posted 709 days ago

arrived home one day to find #1- 2 cherry floor boards 13” wide 12’ long #2-a chestnut beam probably 10”x10” 14’ long…these all came out of a farmhouse renovation and are still waiting for a project (I figure the cherry boards will make a nice bartop…the chestnut beam needs to find a sawmill and I think will make a very interesting blanket chest).

so now to #3…

a piece of cherry beam, twisted, checked…worked and worked with every tool I owned…I got 4 of those little desktop valets and a small mission style table for my efforts. but as a plus, I made sure the floor and tools were surgically clean…all the scrap has found its way to the smoker (in fact I have people searching the planet for cherry shavings now).

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1927 posts in 877 days

#20 posted 709 days ago

Great question, AJ. My judgement is that you are wise beyond your years. That you even asked this question speaks well of you.

My toughest projects are the ones in which I am learning a new skill. I don’t consider myself nearly as advanced a woodworker as many of our fellow LJs, so most of my projects don’t involve advanced skills. My most challenging project so far was my workbench. It helped me to have a clear idea of the design before I got started (that’s the engineer in me). While I’m happy with the way it came out, I will do some things differently for the next one.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View AKSteve's profile


434 posts in 929 days

#21 posted 709 days ago

wow my challenge is not that complicated compared to others, but right now I am building an entry way table and I am putting Blind secret dovetail mitered joints on it and I am cutting them by hand, it’s fun though!

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

1970 posts in 1187 days

#22 posted 709 days ago

Upon reflection I thing the hardest thing is a persons very first project. Do not know really what to do or expect or how to fix what is wrong.


-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View DLCW's profile


522 posts in 1280 days

#23 posted 709 days ago

This was one of my more challenging projects.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View CueballRosendaul's profile


300 posts in 766 days

#24 posted 709 days ago

I completely remodeled our house, LOTS of trim work, all new windows, doors, baseboard, crown molding, two new bathrooms, and 1680 square feet of hardwood floor to refinish. I’ve been thinking I should snap some pictures around here and post it as a project. There was so much custom woodwork that needed done I can’t imagine what it would have cost me to hire it done. I’m glad I did it once, but I’ll never do it again. My next big project is going to be a cedar strip canoe or kayak this winter.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View Dark_Lightning's profile (online now)


1689 posts in 1734 days

#25 posted 708 days ago

I put an addition on my last house. 650 square feet. I dug the foundation trench, made the forms, hung the rebar, (payed for the concrete to be pumped) framed up the floor, ceiling and walls, ran the plumbing and wiring, and put up the drywall. I ended up having the stucco done as a contracted item, because that was WAY too much work. I’ve paid for similar work since (because I was traveling a lot for my job, and the wife is really impatient), but I am convinced that my work is better, based on watching other people work in my house. I CARE about how it comes out, and the contractor’s guys just want it done/over/whatever, usually. The contractor I worked for in the past had nothing to do with that kind of help. I had no trouble with inspectors when I worked construction! I was way pickier than they would ever be- my family lives there.

I also drew up the plans, and got them through the city inspectors. It was a lot of work, and took me almost two years of vacations, evenings after work, and holidays. I would NOT do it again. But then, I’m going to be 60 in a couple of weeks. The amount of energy you have now is boundless. Get ‘er done now.

View BigYin's profile


229 posts in 1042 days

#26 posted 708 days ago

Keeping women happy, after that cutting dovetails is easy….

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View sras's profile


3813 posts in 1755 days

#27 posted 708 days ago

Cedar strip kayak. Five years from start to launch. Had to let it sit untouched for several months.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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